BHUBANESWAR: The City-wide bandh called by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday hit normal life with public transport vehicles staying off the roads while shops and business establishments downed shutters amid sporadic incidents of violence.
Train passengers faced a tough time as they had to walk back home from the railway station. While majority of the autorickshaws and taxis stayed off roads, those plying on the day charged exorbitant fares. Namita Sahoo, who arrived at the City railway station from Talcher in the morning, had to pay double the usual fare to her home at Raja Rani Colony.
At Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), cab and taxi service was also suspended till dusk. Flyers who arrived in the City on Wednesday had to rely on private vehicles of family and friends or cycle rickshaws.
Major roads in the State Capital wore a deserted look while employees of private firms, tourists and outstation passengers could not reach their destinations as the agitators blocked major routes.
While two buses of Bhubaneswar Puri Transport Services Ltd (BPTSL) were detained by protestors near Kalinga Hospital and Sishu Bhavan Square, another was vandalised at Station Square, a BPTSL official said.
The Government had instructed BPTSL to operate buses normally so that public transport is not affected. ‘’We started with a cautionary note on three routes. However, the operation was suspended immediately after the three incidents were reported,’’ Dream Team Sahara (DTS) Chairman Nishikant Mishra said.
Violence was reported at Kalpana Square, Khandagiri, Janpath and Lower PMG where protestors pelted stones at parked vehicles. As many as 12 vehicles were damaged. Reports of clashes at public places and harassment of commuters came from different parts of the City.
Over six thousand people who depend on Aahar canteens for their noon meal had to return empty stomach as the premises were closed.
‘’The cooked food is transported from Akshaya Patra’s kitchen at Phulnakhara to eight Aahar centres in the City. Apprehending damage to the vehicle and food, the authorities decided to terminate the supply on Wednesday,’’ an official of Akshaya Patra Foundation said.